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Sunday, January 11, 2015

David Pastrnak Scores His 1st 2 NHL Goals, Bruins Beat Flyers 3-1 for Their 3rd Straight Win

You might have missed it but some significant things happened in Boston's routine 3-1 win over Philadelphia this afternoon at Wells Fargo Center. The headline of the victory for the Bruins (22-15-6) was that rookie David Pastrnak scored his first two career NHL goals. Seeing his skill and talent on the ice is a breath of fresh air for a team that has needed a boost of energy all season.

Tuukka Rask (24 saves) almost had a shutout and Chris Kelly scored a shorthanded goal as Boston put together its first three-game win streak since before Thanksgiving (third overall). I don't know what it is about the Flyers (16-19-7) but the B's typically dominate them and this season they happen to be pretty down. Boston beat them 2-1 on Opening Night and now they finish the three-game season series on March 7 in Boston.

You knew it was going to be a weird game when Adam McQuaid fought Nick Schultz seven seconds into the proceedings. McQuaid was being a good teammate and standing up for Daniel Paille who got crushed on a hit by Schultz in the neutral zone. McQuaid got a 10-minute misconduct and also an extra two minutes for instigating but Boston was able to kill the penalties.

That was nothing compared to Philadelphia goaltender Steve Mason getting hurt later in the frame and having to be replaced by Ray Emery. Pastrnak's first goal wasn't anything special (in terms of showcasing his ability), it was just a simple tap-in following a rebound. Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara assisted on the power play strike.

After a blah Saturday afternoon second period where nobody scored and nothing happened, things thankfully picked up in the third. Boston broke it up and put it away with a one-timer by Pastrnak (from David Krejci and McQuaid) at 4:58 followed by Kelly's top-shelf shorty (his 5th goal of the season) at 9:51 from Loui Eriksson and Chara.

The only time all game that the Flyers showed any real signs of life came on Giroux's power play goal at 14:13. It was his type of move and low shot from the slot that beat Rask, assisted by Mark Streit and Jakub Voracek (the leading scorer in the NHL).

Boston returns to the Garden for the next week as they host Tampa Bay (27-12-4)-the top team in the East-on Tuesday (7, NESN), the hottest team in the league the Rangers (24-11-4; 9-1-0 in their last 10 games) on Thursday (7, NESN) and then Columbus closes it out on Saturday (7, NESN). Those are three Eastern Conference clubs that Boston will be competing with for a playoff spot, OK maybe the Blue Jackets not so much but this is still a time to put a real good stretch together for the Black and Gold.

After the game, Patrice Bergeron was named to the first All-Star game in his career (10 years in the NHL). It'll be great to see him enjoying the festivities, he's earned it. Sadly no other Bruins made it (at least before replacements come in for injuries and what not).

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